Newsletter #1025

Plenty of news tonight on movements and transfers involving ex-City players, but little happening down at CoMS other than the expected departure of an out of contract Jordan and rumours of Sorin joining. Thanks to Don as usual for his round-up of all happenings.

We also have more pleas for the DvB signing, and information on the pre-season ticketing.

Most bizarre news of the day has to be the Coca Cola and Football League’s agreement to rename the leagues to Premiership, Championship (ex Division 1), Division One and Division Two (ex Divisions 2 and 3). I’ve checked the date and it’s not 1st April.

Next game: Bury, away, 7.30pm Wednesday 21 July 2004 (friendly)


International Blues’ News

England Sign Off in Style: A few weeks ago it could have been billed as a battle of City’s goalkeepers when England entertained Iceland at the COMS last Saturday. As it was, David James was rested by Sven-Goran Eriksson, and Arni Arason has been released by KK. Don’t know if Arni’s helped his chances of finding an English club however, as England despatched Iceland 6-1. England’s scorers were Wayne Rooney and Darius Vassell (twice each), Frank Lampard and Wayne Bridge. The sole reply came from Watford’s Heidar Helguson, who took his tally to three goals in the tournament. Elsewhere, young Paul Bosvelt was a substitute for Holland in their game with the Republic of Ireland. The Irish triumphed 1-0 thanks to a Robbie Keane strike. The Bos Man replaced Clarence Seedorf after 66 minutes.

FA Sweet on the CoMS: It sounds like the organisation of the Internationals has impressed the FA so much that we may well see further internationals played in Eastlands. “We have been delighted with everything here,” said The FA’s Head of Media, Adrian Bevington. “The stadium is absolutely fantastic and is certainly up there with the best in this country. It has been ideal preparation for us with beautiful football pitches at Carrington and I know that is something that the England coaching staff are particularly happy about. The stadium has already proved that it can host big sporting events and that is something that we did look to. We have had great success with England on the road up and down the country while Wembley is being re-built. The visit to the City of Manchester Stadium has been another part of that tour so to speak and we have been delighted with it. I know that the players whom I have spoken to really enjoyed the atmosphere that was generated in the stadium. We still have to identify the venues for the World Cup qualifiers but the City of Manchester Stadium has done itself no harm in that respect. But where we play those games before Wembley is completed has still to be determined.” The club were keen to point out how well the arrangements for the matches had gone. “It has been an excellent week,” announced Peter Fletcher, City’s Stadium and Safety Manager. “The forty thousand England supporters have been impressed and the security has gone down very well with the England management. I hope we can see more internationals here now. I think the FA had concerns about our ticketing system. Now that it has proved to work excellently and efficiently then there is no reason why with our capacity being much higher than so many other clubs that we cannot get more internationals here. The fans have taken to the ticketing system very well and their behaviour has been excellent.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Pick Six or Snatch Thatch? The Evening News said on Tuesday that Mr. Keegan was back at work after a holiday in the US, and is “eager to set about achieving his mission of taking Manchester City back into the top half of the Premiership.” The M.E.N. also had some transfer speculation which ran thus: “City need a new left back… France’s left back is now available on a free transfer, ergo… City are interested in said left-back.” Bixente Lizarazu’s contract has come to an end at Bayern Munich, and the French World Cup winner is on the lookout for a new club. It became clear later in the week that Lizarazu would prefer to join his current national coach Jacques Santini, who will soon be in charge at Tottenham Hotspur. “It is a sign of security if Jacques Santini will be at Tottenham,” said Lizarazu. “I want a good challenge and if I can live in a great capital it will be perfect for me.” A more likely (and less glamorous) target emerged yesterday. City are ready to swoop for Leicester City left-back Ben Thatcher, according to reports. The former Spurs full-back has a £100,000 get-out-clause in his contract after the Foxes were relegated, and “Kevin Keegan is ready to scupper Portsmouth’s plans to land the star”, claim The Mirror.

Wot No Left Back! Let’s hope KK does have plans to purchase a left back, because according to some reports today, the only senior one in the club might be leaving. Peterborough United’s manager Barry Fry has confirmed that he has made an enquiry for the 22-year-old. “I spoke to Kevin regarding Steve Jordan, who is out of contract,” Fry confirmed. “Because he is 22 and Kevin has made an offer to the player, compensation would be required,” he added. “I have talked to Kevin about this, but he is keen to keep hold of Stephen at the City of Manchester Stadium. Kevin will speak to Stephen soon, and the player’s agent will come and talk to me at a later date. I am still hopeful he will be a player for Posh next season.”

Everything Must Go: Here’s the latest on the Elland Road bargain hunt. City look set to miss out on Danny Mills, with the defender reportedly holding talks with Birmingham City. Now there’s a shame. The England full back has been in limbo since returning from a season-long loan spell with Middlesbrough, as Leeds are keen to get him off the wage bill but potential suitors have been put off by his £40,000 per week salary. Although City boss Kevin Keegan was reportedly keen to sign him, it now seems that Steve Bruce is most likely to land the 27-year-old. KK also faces competition from Blackburn Rovers in his bid to sign Mills’ team-mate Dominic Matteo. City approached the Yorkshire club in a bid to bring the former Liverpool player to the COMS on a season-long loan, but Leeds are only interested in a permanent deal and slapped a £750,000 price-tag on the player. Now Blackburn boss Graeme Souness has joined Keegan in targeting Matteo and is lining up a bid for the former Scotland defender.

Sorin Seems to be the Hardest Word: Sky Sports’ website reports that City are lining up a move for Argentine international defender Juan Pablo Sorin. Sorin is looking for a new club after being released by Paris Saint Germain at the end of the season. The Argentinian has spent the last two seasons on loan at PSG but Coach Vahid Halilhodzic decided not to take up the option to sign him permanently. Sorin has now returned to Brazilian club Cruzeiro, but he is thought to be keen on a move to Europe. Reports emanating from Argentina suggest that City have made discreet enquiries for the versatile defender.

No Eastern Promise by Nico: How’s this for a transfer rumour? Nicolas Anelka will leave City this summer for the Gulf of Arabia, and will convert to Islam for good measure. So claimed the magazine France Football this week. Nico wants this story quashed. “I want to make a point following the publication in France Football on Tuesday, June 8 of a photograph taken of me in Dubai,” he told his own website. “It claimed that I would convert to Islam and that I had already stated that I would not be returning to France or England and intended to sign for a local club. Frankly, I cannot understand how such things were allowed to be written. I went to Dubai on holiday for ten days with my buddies, this photo was taken when I paid a visit to the Al-Wassal club – a simple visit which was out of courtesy after an invitation from them to meet their players. I never gave an interview and so how can somebody say that I would be converting to Islam and remain in Dubai. I am returning to France to continue my holidays and perhaps I will visit my brother in Madrid, and then I will be in Manchester in July for the resumption of training. Until proof to the contrary, I am under contract with City and flatly deny what was printed in France Football.”

Ex-Blues’ News

A Nose for Goals: Just to rub salt in the wounds for City fans, Don Givens has been praising the ability of Stephen Elliott. Some Sunderland fans have greeted the news of their new signing with ‘Stephen Who?’, but Givens, who coached Elliott at International Under-21 level, reckons that the Stadium of Light will soon realise the talent they’ve acquired. “Stephen Elliott has that thing which the best coaches in the world can’t coach – a natural instinct for scoring goals,” said Givens. “The lad has an inbred nose for goals, he senses where he should be and gets himself into great positions in and around the box. But I don’t want people thinking he’s just one of those strikers who hangs around the penalty area. Elliott has great movement and makes clever, well-timed runs – and he’s getting better at doing it all the time. Then when he gets in the last 20 yards of the pitch all he is thinking about is hitting the back of the net, he’s so hungry for goals. And once he gets there, Stephen really can finish. What impressed me about him when I first saw him play was how many strikes on goal he’d manage during the course of a game – and I think Mick McCarthy and Taff Evans like the look of that too.”

Rover Dicky: Paul Dickov has completed his move to Blackburn for £150,000 from Leicester. Dickov – who has signed a two-year deal – insisted the chance to work with Rovers boss and compatriot Graeme Souness persuaded him to move to Ewood Park. “He’s a winner and he’s passionate about football, which I like to think I am myself,” the striker told the club’s website. “As a Scot, he was one of my heroes when I was a young fan. Also, I spoke to a lot of people who had played for Blackburn before and they couldn’t speak highly enough of the club. In the end, it was quite an easy decision to make. I’m sad to leave Leicester because I had two great years there, but I am ambitious and to come to a club like this is fantastic for me. There’s a lot of quality players here and I know it won’t be easy, but to get the chance to play in the Premiership again next season is great. I am going to have to work my hardest to force my way in, but I’m really looking forward to it. Just coming to a club like this is a big thing for me.” Dickov scored 35 goals in 97 games for Leicester having joined them from City for £1 million.

Colin Does Love to be Beside the Seaside: Blackpool have taken on another ex-City player to replace Steve McMahon as manager. Colin Hendry has been unveiled as the new manager at the English Division 2 side. It is the 38-year-old Scot’s first step into management, having taken a year out of the game to care for his sick wife, Denise. Blackpool represents the perfect start for him, since it is within easy commuting distance of his Lytham home, and his wife, who almost died after a flawed liposuction procedure two years ago and still returns to hospital in nearby Preston for check-ups. Also, Blackpool are the club where Hendry called time on his 20-year playing career two seasons ago. Hendry has signed a one-year rolling contract, and has brought in assistants Billy Dearden, the former Notts County and Mansfield manager, and Ian Miller, who played with Hendry at Blackburn Rovers. Hendry said: “The contract side of things did not really concern me. I just told them: ‘you take me on and do what you want to do with me’. They’ll soon realise I am here for the long term.”

Who Needs Ged Brannan When We Could Have… …the colossus of our Division One promotion under Joe Royle, none other than Robert Taylor, who is the new manager of King’s Lynn Reserves. He might even don his sharp shooter’s boots as well. The 33-year-old, who led Watton to promotion in the Anglian Combination last season, said: “I’m looking forward to being involved with a club that’s going places. Lynn are a big club and it’s been silent for a few years, it should be further up than it is and hopefully I can play a part in that. I did well at Watton and it was a hard decision for me to leave, but this is a big stepping stone for me.” Taylor hasn’t ruled out a playing return, despite suffering an injury-ravaged end to his 10-club professional playing career. “I prefer to be on the sidelines, but if I can keep fit and either the first team or Reserves are short, who knows what might happen,” said Taylor.

Bermudian News

Goat Vanquished: As Ernie B, my fellow reader of the Royal Gazette pointed out in MCIVTA 1024, City’s youth team beat Bermuda (featuring Lord Goat of Moss Side) 2-1, thanks to goals from Paul Murphy and Carlos Logan. The host’s reply was scored by (who else) but Shaun Goater. The game was a warm up for Bermuda’s forthcoming World Cup qualifier against El Salvador. I shall leave the after match reaction from the Great Man to the above mentioned Royal Gazette. “GOATER ‘IMPRESSED’ WITH TEAMMATES – Shaun Goater admitted Bermuda had ‘lacked a little experience’ against a professional, well-organised Manchester City youth side, but said also that he had been ‘seriously impressed’ with the work ethic of his team-mates. ‘We should have held on to the draw longer than we did,’ he conceded. ‘You always have to expect that a professional outfit will respond like they did after the equaliser. But overall I think we can go down to El Salvador with a lot of confidence as we acquitted ourselves well. We became much more of an attacking threat in the second half when we decided to forego intricate passing and become much more direct; we put them under much more pressure.’ Pressed on how losing to a squad of teenagers would affect the Bermuda team’s state of mind in El Salvador next week, the Reading striker stated that he did not foresee any potential problems and even argued that he felt the Manchester City outfit would be ‘better organised’ than their upcoming Central American opponents. The Goat was also pleased to have given Bermudian supporters something to shout about with his well taken goal mid-way through the second half. ‘It always gives me immense pleasure to score on home soil,’ he said. ‘I just had to remain patient, waiting for the opportunity and eventually it came along when I was one on one with their ‘keeper. There were a lot of thoughts running through my mind at that stage but I guess the professional experience in me made me stay calm, not panic and slot to the side of the ‘keeper. It gave the crowd and the players a bit of a lift and I just sorry that in the end we could not hold on.'”

Squad News

Concentrate, Concentrate! It sounds like David Sommeil is on his way back to the City of Manchester Stadium. The French defender went to Marseille last January as part of the loan swap that brought Daniel van Buyten to City, but the Frenchman has not secured a permanent deal with the UEFA Cup finalists. Sommeil said: “I am aware I had some unpleasant matches last season with Marseille and with Manchester City. I was aggressive but perhaps I was guilty of not concentrating as much as I should have done at times.”

Forty Points Please: Richard Dunne good progress after his hernia operation, and is already thinking ahead to the new season. He’s looking forward to a long run as a centre-half, a position which Dunnie reckons is his best. “All through my career I have said that I wanted to play centre-half,” he says. “This is the first time that I have ever had a chance of having a decent run in that position. I think I have repaid the manager’s faith.” The Irishman reckons that more team effort is required to avoid a repeat of last season’s brush with relegation. “It’s a case of us all looking at ourselves. It’s all right doing well as individuals, but if you are not doing well as a team then what you do yourself doesn’t really count for much. It’s something to think about over the summer. We’ve got to correct it next season. People kept telling me that I was doing well – but we were losing every week. That’s no use to anybody. It’s tough to understand why we under performed but it is pretty disappointing. Nobody would have thought when they looked at our squad last August that we’d have ended up in the position that we did. Back then we were flying and we’d won three of the first six games. It was really strange to finish like we did. But we can’t let that happen ever again. We have got to look at last season as a learning curve. Rather than talking about us getting in Europe or whatever, we’ve got to set an aim of getting 40 points. Only then we can work our way up.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


I have just read the latest MCIVTA, and nearly every message mentioned Daniel van Buyten. Every City fan I speak to, every fanzine I read all say the same thing. This is the player that we, the fans and supporters, all want to see at Eastlands next year.

I’ve written before about his obvious talents, and how he seems to think of City as being the place he wants to be, about how he plays football with passion and a smile on his face.

Well, now it’s time for the board and the manager to “cut the cr@p”. I’m sure that the messages to this forum, and others, reach even their lofty heights, and if they can for once stop paying lip service as to how we are the “best fans in the world,” and that we are “unique” then maybe they will actually listen to us for once.

DvB is the one player that can make us a better team, he is worth 3 or 4 places up the league on his own. He’s the player that all the supporters want to see at Eastlands, not just some of them, all of them.

It’s time for the powers that be at City recognise what we want for our money.

Keep the faith, Phil <XPHILLEE(at)>


The defence is where Kevin Keegan’s work is going to be needed to sort it out for the new season. If DvB is signed that will be the central defence sorted, but then it’s who will be playing in the other positions? Richard Dunne was the most improved defender last season and deserves to be the other central defender. Sylvain Distin needs to concentrate on his game more, he can be an effective player. So it then would be who at right and left backs? One of our young players from the Academy might come through, I bet young Jordan is putting in some extra training.

All eyes will be on David James playing for England in Euro 2004; we wish him, and the team well, and may he return fit. I feel strongly that City should have a new captain for next season; most effective captains play in midfield, but it’s the City defence that was the weakest last season, so it would not hurt to make David James the captain. He can see everything that’s going on in front of him and has the experience for other players to look up to him – he will hold their respect.

Until the pre-season games, all eyes will be on Euro 2004. Come on England!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Can anyone please tell me how to get a ticket (4 actually) for the pre-season fixture against Reading on Mon August 2nd?

Hugh Doyle <hugh.doyle(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0304.07]

[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[1] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings.

[2] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

[3] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at

[4] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club” (

[5] Where can I find out about the fans’ committee?

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. It has its own website, containing info about forthcoming meetings as well as minutes from previous gatherings.

[6] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

The GMR pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at, whilst an alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at

[7] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and also provides a guide to pubs in the USA showing football.

[8] What’s the music the teams run out to?

At the start of the 03/04 season it was actually a mix of two tracks: Starting with “O Verona” (from the film “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet”) leading in to “Barber’s Adagio for Strings (Ferry Corsten remix)” by William Orbit. The first part is available on the movie soundtrack (volume 2) and the second is included on a variety of CDs such as Kiss House Nation 2000, Galaxy Hit Mix, Cream Live, Ibiza Chill and Dance Nation 4.

Currently we use a selection of different music, which seems to change each game.

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here:,289893,sid9_gci213262,00.html

[10] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[11] Can I buy shares in the club?

Yes you can: Shares in Manchester City PLC are traded on OFEX. The latest prices can be on found the OFEX web site (registration required) or in the business section of the Manchester Evening News.

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth analysis try

[13] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to Damian Quinn, Stephen Webb, Roger Haigh, Martin Price, and Adrian Howarth for the Satellite TV info.

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1025